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Context: According to the CEO of Educational Testing Service (ETS), India's first national assessment regulator ‘PARAKH’ would bring about the much-needed uniformity in assessment across the nation.
- The Union government announced to release of a “benchmark framework” to evaluate students' performance at the secondary and higher secondary level.
- The main objective of the framework is to ensure “uniformity” across the state and central boards which presently follow different criteria for evaluation.
- The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) discussed the “common assessment framework” with the representatives of state boards and State Councils of Educational Research and Training (SCERTs).
- They suggested setting up a new assessment regulator ‘PARAKH’.
- As part of the implementation of the National Education Policy (NEP)-2020, PARAKH has been established. The NEP-2020 suggested the establishment of a standard-setting body to provide guidance to school boards on new assessment practices and to encourage collaborations between them.
- It will function as a component of the NCERT. It will also be responsible for conducting recurring learning outcome assessments like the National Achievement Survey (NAS) and State Achievement Surveys.
- It will focus on three main assessment areas: extensive assessments, school-based assessments, and examination improvements.
- It will establish norms, standards and guidelines for assessment and evaluation for all recognized school boards in India. The benchmark assessment framework will end the stress on rote learning.
- The government is expecting that PARAKH will conduct the National Achievement Survey (NAS) in 2024.
Objectives of PARAKH
- Setting norms, criteria, and procedures for student assessment and evaluation for all recognized educational boards across India.
- Promote and support school boards in changing their assessment practices reflecting the 21st-century skill standards.
- To bring uniformity across the state and central boards, which currently use different standards of evaluation and produce significant score differences.
Significance of PARAKH
- It will act as a body that establishes standards for student evaluation and assessment throughout all school boards across India.
- It will address differences in student test scores among boards.
- It will perform National Achievement Surveys (NAS) on learning outcomes, evaluate all components of the planning and execution of the NAS activities, and highlight areas that require improvement.
- It will manage India's participation in international tests like the PISA, or the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).
Conclusion: PARAKH will develop and implement the standards for test design, administration, scoring, and reporting at all levels of academic study. It is a gradual turn towards a more scientific method of teaching. The recommended structure will assist in adapting the child's abilities, including phases of mental development and social and physical awareness.
Q. Analyze the significance of "PARAKH" in the context of the structural changes being made to the Indian educational system.